Categories
covid restrictions, living through a pandemic,

Final lockdown lifting in England with mixed feelings: holidays, and reaching out during these bizarre times…

Hello there you!

So this week in England, our PM Boris Johnson announced that most restrictions will be lifted by 19th July, i.e all face masks and social distancing scrapped (apart from airports where a 1 metre rule will still apply and its entirely up to each individual about mask wearing). I know I’ll still wear mine in smaller spaces and on public transport. Also a new Health Secretary Sajid Javid was appointed in recent weeks (tut tut tut to the previous ones shenanigans). Working from home was also announced to be no longer mandatory from 19th July.

Now. I’m very mixed about all this as I’m sure you are too. Especially with this awful Delta Variant floating about and with cases rising every day: with predictions of over 100,000 cases by August.

Its been the most bizarre, challenging time for humanity. Like reruns of the Twillight Zone. Naturally people are worrying if we’re heading for another full lockdown again and if more variants will pop up. On the up side however, the vaccines are rolling out at a fast pace in England and anyone who is fully vaccinated don’t need to self-isolate from 16th August, if they’ve been in contact with someone who’s had a positive Covid test that is.

Holidays/breaks:

Have you been on a holiday yet or do you have one planned? I’m hoping to get away myself in August with my family, although there is always that ‘what if’ little doubt in my head as to whether lockdown (sick of that bloody word at this stage) will happen again. But at the moment I’m remaining positive/focussed that we will have that holiday!


Clouds always pass

Believe

You’ve got this

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Clouds do always pass and its all about floating with whatever each day brings: bit like the weather. Knowing this will pass, brighter days are ahead and learning to live with Covid. Something that will always be part of our lives going forward. These are challenging, daunting and confusing times for us all.

Reaching out:

Reaching out, talking to each other about your worries during this time is so important if feeling overwhelmed with the whole situation. Normality is very much at a standstill, although slowly returning. Being realistic and honest about how you are feeling with others can help with any anxieties.

Brighter days are ahead and we’ve come so so far since that first lockdown on 23/03/20; before there was even a sniff of a vaccine.

How are you doing/feeling about it all? Are you nervous about returning back to work in the office and the commute? Will you scrap your mask wearing come 19th July?

Thank you for reading my post, stay safe, keep going and society will get through this. Encouraging, supporting and being kind to each other.

Categories
health and wellbeing motivation social media habits

Social media, the dreaded scrolling and 5 tips to help you when a break is needed!

Hello you!

Ah yes, social media scrolling!

I deleted certain social media apps many years ago and have never looked back. Yes, I was the type that checked in everywhere, posted all those amazing photos – showing the perfect life? Smiling your little heart out (when in reality I was probably having a bad day). Reality? because there’s no such thing as the perfect social media portrayed life.

We all have good days, crappy days and when you look online at a perfect social media life on those crappy days it makes you feel worse, doesn’t it? Why post all the good stuff. Unfortunately its the way social media rolls these days.

Selfies:

Selfies are huge (something I was never into), especially with younger people and the pressure to look a certain way (lets not start on filters), could be damaging to your wellbeing. Heck, back in my teenage years (I’m 40) taking a picture meant waiting until the film was actually developed to see how you turned out!! That was ok as you weren’t obsessed on taking hundreds of photos for the perfect shot.

Reflecting:

During this pandemic it has been an eye opener for ‘everyone’ and to reflect on what really matters. Being honest, open and kinder to each other and most importantly yourself. We are all human at the end of the day and this pandemic has us re-evaluating what matters.

Social media as a supportive environment:

I only recently set up a poetry social media account to connect with other poets/writers to share our work.  A brilliant community of supportive and encouraging writers.  However, the scrolling addiction reared its ugly head yet again.

You see, the thing is, when you have apps on your phone, the handiness you have to just click on it: next thing you know you’re scrolling for 10 minutes, 20 minutes, it goes on – when initially you just wanted to have a quick look ( great exercise for the thumb, but not the brain). You’re sucked in – down that bloody rabbit hole you go.

On the other hand, however, social media is extremely beneficial for businesses, small businesses, promoting ideas and connecting
with communities for hobbies and also support. Its all about finding that balance and keeping the scrolling to a minimum.


Top 5 tips to curb your scrolling habits and what works for me.

1. Uninstall the apps from your phone.  I only have social media on my tablet now and only check in the evenings.

2. If  you dont want to uninstall apps from your phone turn the phone off – put it into a drawer or anywhere you dont have quick access to – and be mindful.

3. Turn off all those notifications.

4. Set yourself a time limit for social media use.

5.  Be aware of your habits when online. Always being mindful. Think to yourself is this really urgent?


Between portraying the perfect life, selfie obsessions and addictive scrolling habits: these five tips listed should help, if the scrolling gets a little bit out of hand, or you just need a social media break.

Go for a walk and absorb all that beauty. Read that book (the physical hardback/paper type)  instead of scrolling.  Partake in those hobbies you enjoy!

Have you control over your scrolling habits or has it got out of hand?

Thank you for reading my post!

Have a beautiful day and find the right balance!

Categories
gratitude poetry wellbeing

Poetry as comfort: Seamus Heaney and that wonderful poem Blackberry-Picking!

I have to admit, poetry wasn’t an art I was into until this pandemic hit. I remember studying it for my exams in secondary school but that was it. I just didn’t get it.

Well. Talk about what I was missing. Maybe its getting older, life experience, recent sadness in our world, heightened emotions: but It really has been a means of comfort to me throughout this past year. Have you found comfort through this art?

Learning all about the art, writing my own poetry and reading from many great poets; transports me right back to familiar, relatable places while bursting with imagery and power.

Seamus Heaney’s Blackberry-Picking

Oh what poet doesn’t like Seamus Heaney? When I first started writing and reading poetry over a year ago I started reading an anthology with a collection of his greatest poems ( I remember studying a few at school).

He was such a beautiful and talented poet; and could really hit the five senses in such a powerful way.


Blackberry-Picking:

Blackberry-Picking by Seamus Heaney

Being from the country in Ireland this poem just transports me back to that place of innocence during my childhood – where you would run through those fields picking those juicy blackberries from those bushes. Even his description down to the pea cans and jam pots. Children just loved to run wild with anything they could find, in order to collect those blackberries. Living near my grandparents farm and even his description of the bath in the byre (you country folk will know this well)

Finding comfort through poetry

This past year has been difficult for you and I. We’re living through something we could never have imagined. Connecting through poetry if its writing or reading some of the greats, has really opened my eyes and tapped into the emotions in such a powerful way when you let yourself ‘feel’ and get lost in those words.

Some of the greatest poems have been written through the hardest of times. Does this tell us that poetry isn’t dead, but is very much alive?

I’m so thankful I connected with poetry throughout this pandemic and as a therapeutic outlet. I know it will be part of my life now going forward.

What poem/poet do you like that takes you down memory lane in the country?

Thank you for reading my post and have a beautiful day, reading some wonderful poetry!

Categories
gratitude inspiration

Fully vaccinated, delighted and five things I’ve learned during Covid.

Hello there you!

So I had my second vaccination today and have to say I’m absolutely delighted and extremely grateful. The light at the end of the tunnel is approaching quicker and beaming through Covids cloud!

Have you had your vaccine and how do ‘you’ feel?

This past year (and the rest) really has been a rollercoaster to say the least hasn’t it? The ups, the downs, the tears, the reflections, growing as an individual, lots of soul searching and philosophical thinking.

Throughout Covid I’ve discovered alot about myself as an individual, as you do when you’re locked in and hit with a pandemic; pulling us completely into an environment of social isolation, uncertainty, growth, resilience and fear.

So what are the 5 things I’ve learned?

1. Never to take small things for granted again! I’ve become so grateful for nature, blooms in the garden and actually smelling those flowers (yes I do and I’m not ashamed to admit that)

2. To enjoy every moment with your family… Dance in that kitchen, act silly with your children, partner, spouse and laugh your heart out.

3. To be kind to everyone, including yourself. Kindness wins ALL the time.

4. No matter who you are, your background, your circumstances; we are all on this same ship, sailing in the exact same direction.

5. To be at peace with who you are. Scrap perfectionism and knowing that life is a constant journey of growth. Nobody is perfect. Fact.

The journey of life

And its lessons are endless

Go with every step of this journey

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Being fully vaccinated, living through a pandemic and the lessons learned have made me thankful for the smallest of things and also being more mindful. Life really is precious and this pandemic has opened our eyes well and truly up to that fact – and to slow the hell down!!

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

What have you learned during these times?

Have a beautiful day and enjoy the simplest of things. Believe in yourself β€πŸ™

Categories
family motherhood personal development wellbeing

Reminders, and a poem about the balance, changes you go through when becoming a mummy/parent!

Hello you!

I wrote the following poem a few months back after joining a poetry writing group for mums. Since the beginning of this pandemic (when I started writing poetry) most of my poetry was written about Covid and nature.

When I started writing about motherhood, it made me think of the changes you go through when becoming a parent. But also the pure joy and unconditional love that you have for your children.

Parenting is hard, its rewarding its full of surprises, its a pick and mix of emotions: and throwing a pandemic on top of it all? Well. But the laughs from your little people, their little funny ways tugs at those heart strings like nothing else. And you would do ANYTHING for them..

I often sit back and watch my 4 and 2 year old girls playing, to absorb those precious, precious moments, that flash by in an absolute heartbeat! Savouring the simple moments, that you will never get back. Hugging them to pieces: without the rushing about and before they tell you to ‘get off’.

If I’ve learned anything, its to stop trying to be a perfect parent (thats impossible), enjoy every moment and doing the best ‘you’ can is the very best ‘you’ can ever do.


Poem:

Reminders

I often look at the bride beaming down
from the canvas photo –
two stone lighter, a wife,
running enthusiast: not yet a mummy.
I often look at my tummy; it sits like a bag of wheat,
my thighs dimpled like an orange.
I often look at my ashen roots,
reflecting every bit of my years.
I often look at how I indulge in chocolate,
A withered flower blowing with those gales

The beaming bride? two stone lighter,
but gaining two of the most
precious gifts to run after.
My bag of wheat? Two beautiful little cakes were created.
My ashen roots? life doesn’t stand still
and there’s no cheating that
(a trip to the hairdressers does pretty well!).
My chocolate craving?
a tired mummy, lockdown mummy, craves that chocolate:
In a lower gear –
while sipping that obligatory glass of gin & tonic.

Reminders of life. A wife.
A mummy. Lockdown
and my birthing tummy.


So heres a toast to you as a parent, the juggling act that goes along with it and ‘YOU’ are enough.

Have a beautiful day, savouring those moments with your little blossoms and also being kind to yourself during the processπŸ™πŸ’–

Categories
health and wellbeing

Cutting down on the rich foods and a bit of exercise for a healthier you!

Hello you!

So for the past month I’ve been cutting down on all the sugary, fatty foods to lose a bit of my mama weight! I have to say I feel so much better and not as bloated (I love my bread and chocolate treats).

At first it’s tough, as I’m following a certain plan (not a diet) and your body is like “hey wheres my sugar and whats going on here?” But when sticking to plan and recognising the overall benefits it has to your health in the long run, it makes it easier to focus and plough on through with your weight loss journey.

Balance:

Being a Libra myself, its all about the balance! Making sure you get the ‘balance’ right with enough proteins, fats, carbohydrates, calcium and iron (the list is endless)

Also drinking plenty of water to flush out those toxins helps. Aim for 8 glasses a day they say (I like drinking a pint of cooled boiled water as its easier to drink)

White to wholemeal:

Changing the white breads to wholemeal, white pasta to wholewheat and adding unsalted/lighter butter to your diet for the extra fibre that your body needs.

Grilling instead of frying.

All these little tweaks to your diet aids your weight loss journey, making you feel better.

Lets not forget plenty of fruit and veggies…

Exercise:

Along with cutting down on the aul lockdown munching (done plenty of that over the past year) I’m making a habit of going out for a 20-30 min walk everyday. Soaking up the beautiful outdoors, being mindful along with getting fresh air into my lungs. The best bit about it? Its free…

I know it sounds hard to cut down, but ‘you’ start to feel so much better and its just about tweaking your diet and adding plenty of water.

Now I’d like to add I’m no nutritionist but I’m sharing with ‘you’ whats helping me on my weight loss/healthier lifestyle journey. I feel so much better and plan to stick to it.

Hope these little tips help you! And please do comment on what helps you on your healthier lifestyle journey. Would love to hear.

Have a beautiful day, stay safe, be kind to yourself and ‘your’ body.

Thank you for reading πŸ’–

Categories
photography

A Bit of Amateur Photography, the Simple Things & a Haiku!

Hello you!

So another hobby I love is photography (amateur of course)… I’ve been getting to know my Cannon Digital SLR EOS 600D quite well during this bloody Pandemic!

I love messing about with settings, features, lighting and learning all about the different focus shots – like a child with a new toy!!

Now, by all means I’m no pro but its nice to sit down at a computer; edit those photos and adding the finishing touches. I’m sharing a few snaps from last year – when I was in Ireland with my little family and experimenting with Canon (along with a little haiku) πŸ₯°πŸ“Έ


Life through a clear lens

Precious moments are captured

Pictures of beauty

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This past year has made us realise the importance of the simple pleasures in life, and how beneficial it can be to our overall wellbeing: now we’ve learned to slow down, becoming more mindful.

Have ‘you’ discovered new hobbies during the pandemic?

Have a lovely day, enjoying the hobbies you find fulfilling: if its being snap happy πŸ“· or the little luxuries ‘you’ are grateful for πŸ™


Photos: ©️ 2020 Bernie Egerton

Categories
inspiration poetry

Atlantic Coast Ireland and Those Sunset Walks…

Hello you!

I wrote the following mindful/reflective poem using the writing prompt ‘tranquil paradise’! It was such a lovely prompt to work with: as it transported me right back to when my hubbie and I were on hols in my homeplace in Ireland with our girls. We would do nightly sunset walks along the beach – when our girls were tucked up in bed back in nana and grandads. The beach was a stone throw away and it was such a lovely evening ritual. I grew up in this place and now realise how much I took it for granted.

With lockdown we haven’t been back home since last summer. But we’ll be back again within the next few months (all going well πŸ˜‰)


Poem

Sunset walks

Atlantic Coast of Ireland and
Those daily sunset walks –
Shimmers on the salty sea
Gold glistens as we talk
A Gentle breeze grazing my cheeks,
Sounds of swishing waves
Tranquil paradise: I dip my
Toes and splash away.
Feathers float in setting skies
Horizon mixed with glows
On a shore where I grew up
Such beauty as it shows
Surfers surf in paradise like
Dolphins play with waves
Serene sunset, Atlantic Coast
Sunset walks, those summer days


Have a lovely day and keep writing – it really is good for the soul πŸ™πŸ’«!



Categories
mental health awareness week

Mental health awareness week, soaking up the outdoors and a poem on kindness!

Hello you!

As it comes to the end of ‘mental health awareness week’ (mental health foundation UK – a very worthy foundation) and its promotion on connecting more with nature, I reflect on the importance of this awareness. I feel a strong connection to nature and it is so beneficial to my mental wellbeing – especially throughout these uncertain times that ‘you’ and I find ourselves in. I’ve connected vastly with the outdoors throughout this pandemic.

It sounds so simple and it is: stepping outside, soaking up the outdoors and all that beauty – while getting a good blast of fresh air in the process! I know the thoughts sometimes seem harder than the actual doing! But ‘you’ start to reap the benefits from doing so…

Onto that lovely word called ‘kindness’

I shared the following poem about being kind as one of my first blog posts (I’m 2 months blogging now, so still a newbie πŸ˜‰), and I’m sharing it with you again. With it being ‘mental health awareness week’ I think ‘kindness’ is so important and how a little bit goes such a long way. Its one of the first poems I wrote when I first started writing poetry during this pandemic.


Poem:

Thank you, it’s nice to be kind

A gentle smile, a heartfelt word, clears the cloud from my mind:
lifting me out of the darkest of places ‘thank you’ it’s nice to be kind.
A little text with those words ‘I’m here’ travels the length of the earth –
the racing mind slowly calms from every word and its worth.

In a world portraying so much anger yet still has so much beauty –
spreading kindness every day is undoubtedly everyone’s duty.
Be kind you say, how hard is this in a world with so much confusion?
kindness helps one another, without the fear and intrusion.

To someone in need a simple hello or even a chat over tea –
is the greatest gift for a person to thrive and also to somewhat feel free.
A withered flower blossom’s again and is no longer blind.
Lifting me out of the darkest of places, ‘thank you’ it’s nice to be kind.

Bernie Egerton June 2020


Kindness is so easy

Little gestures – heartfelt words

The ‘kind’ that matters

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Thank ‘you’ for taking the time to read my post πŸ’–πŸ™. Be gentle and kind with yourself; may it be filled with lovely walks/jogs/cycles (whatever you enjoy) kindness and surrounded by the beauty of loved ones and nature 🌲🌱🌻

Have a beautiful day and keep smiling – you’ve got this πŸ™πŸ’«

Do you feel a sense of connection to nature?


Soaking up the beauty of nature πŸƒ


Family πŸ’– – outdoor adventures with our busy bees πŸ₯°

πŸ’–πŸ’–

Categories
mindfulness relaxation wellbeing

Mindful moments… Breathe, relax and visualise…

Haiku

Blossom petals fall

Look down at the gentle pinks

Blankets of pure bliss

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Mindful moments 🌸🌸

Gentle pinks 🌸🌸

Blossom trees are so beautiful!Β  Even more so are the blankets of pink stretched across lawns, drives and paths as the petals sofly fall. Little pieces of heaven when out walking – soaking up those mindful moments. Spring is such a beautiful, colourful time of the year 🌸🌳


Inhale

Exhale

Visualise

Relax

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Take some time out for mindful moments!

Be gentle to ‘you’


Take a deep breath, visualise and relax

Have a beautiful, peaceful day. Be kind and gentle to you πŸ™ πŸŒΈπŸ’

And breathe!